My earliest memories of being different from others would be in my early primary school years. My friendships were very unstable due to my low self-esteem. One day I would have a friend and be very happy, the next day I would come home crying to Mum because I had no friends and no one liked me. I began to dislike school because I felt so lonely and unloved there. There is nothing that can describe how lonely and self-conscious I felt at school then. I didn’t have a sixth grade buddy or a high school friend. No one was there to make me feel special or like I was really needed.
My learning disabilities became more and more apparent as I went through primary school. One night my father went over my three times tables with me. I knew them that night. The next morning my father asked me: ‘3 x 9′ and I answered ’29’. I can still remember vividly the frustration on his face. There were many instances such as this, and I thought my father would have learned the first time that I just couldn’t remember things.
In my school reports I only ever got C’s and D’s. I found this very frustrating because I tried and tried but still did not achieve. My teachers would always reply, ‘Try harder, Mardi’, but they did not seem to understand that I had tried my best.
Mardi’s story continues throughout the book. Now a teacher, wife and mother Mardi shares her story from three different times in her life. It’s a great message of hope.